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Trani's Cathedral

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Built in honour of St. Nicolas the Pilgrim, work began on this cathedral in 1099, the year in which the saint was canonised. It was completed in 1143 without a bell-tower.

In the shape of a Latin cross, it is divided into three aisles with binate columns; the central nave faces the women's gallery via fourteen artistic three-light windows. The central nave and the transept are covered with exposed trusses, while the two side aisles have cross beams. 

On a whole one gets a sense of majesty and greatness, which is emphasised by the triumphal arch overlooking the entrance to the transept and the very high apses. The presbytery hosts traces of a mosaic dating back to the XII century and was perhaps part of the first decorated floor, which is signed by the priest Pantaleon.

The transversal crypt, in honour of St. Nicholas the Pilgrim, was designed in the XII century and completed in 1142; it is composed of 42 transepts supported by 28 Greek marble columns topped with capitals made from the same stone. 

On 25 April 2002 the Cathedral has been declared "Monument messenger of a culture of peace" by UNESCO. 

Swabian Castle

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Trani's castle is one of the most beautiful examples of fortification erected in Puglia by Frederick II of Swabia. Its construction, which mirrors the shape of the Adriatic sea, began in 1233 and was completed in or around 1249.In 1259 it hosted the wedding of Manfred, son of Frederick II, and Elena Comneno, who was the daughter of Michael II King of Epirus. Due to the arrival of new firearms, in the early 1500's the castle was subjected to considerable change with the demolition of some parts and the construction of new sections, including the new lancet embankment situated on its western side.   From 1586 to 1677 it held the office of the Sacra Regia Udienza, a judicial, administrative and political body in Bari. It was a prison from 1860 to 1975 and was restored to public use in 1998.

Villa Comunale Trani

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It is the largest public garden in the city. It extends on a terrace overlooking the sea, surrounded by ramparts of the ancient fortifications of the city. The location of the villa offers, on the south side, panoramic views of the waterfront up to the Monastery of Santa Maria di Colonna, while the north side leads to the fort, from which you can enjoy views of the entire bay of the harbor and the Cathedral . The villa was opened in 1824 thanks to a donation of land to the Municipality by individuals; later was enlarged thanks to the reclamation of land just south on the coast, in the area called precisely because Canneto dell'insalubrità places.

Castel del Monte

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On the 29th January 1240, Emperor Frederick II signed a decree ordering Richard of Montefuscolo, the governor of Capitanata, to prepare the necessary materials for the construction of a castle near the Church (since disappeared) of Sancta Maria de Monte.

At the time, the building would have already reached roof level and was therefore close to completion. The viewing and control functions over the region, which had been in place since the Suevian era, were reinforced with the intervention of King Manfred, who reigned from 1277: this marked the beginning of Castel del Monte forming part of a communication system, including its use for visual communication, which was therefore confirmed and elaborated.

In the years that followed the castle was mostly used as a jail. In 1495 Ferdinand of Aragon stayed there before being crowned King of the Two Sicilies in Barletta. It was linked to the dukedom of Andria, it belonged to Consalvo of Cordova and from 1552 it was owned by the Carafa, Counts of Ruvo. It became the refuge of many noble families in Andria during the plague of 1656.

It was uninhabited up to the XVIII century and was systematically ravaged. It was stripped of any marble and furniture and became a shelter for shepherds, bandits and political refugees. Before the castle became a complete ruin, frequent scientific restoration work began in 1876. It continued up to more recent times with work carried out in the Eighties.

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Piazza Quercia 19, 76125 Trani (BT) - Italia
+39 329 9425377 / +39 17962 - email: info@terradelsolebb.it

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Photo by Mauro di Lecce e Roberto Moscatelli
Music by Davide Santorsola